The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) announced recently that 160 countries will celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week this November – with nearly 10 million people expected to participate in 30,000 events and competitions. The local, national and global efforts unleash another estimated $100 million to help entrepreneurs launch new startups while creating innovations that can change the world.
The new figure adds to the original $100 million commitment GEN made last year during Global Entrepreneurship Week and was recognized by the White House at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi last weekend.
Founded in 2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week – which runs this year from Nov. 16-22 – has provided a platform that is creating one global entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Interest in startups and entrepreneurship continues to grow in all parts of the world,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. “Global Entrepreneurship Week provides a shot of adrenaline at one concentrated moment to help provide nascent entrepreneurs with access to research, programs and network they need to maximize their potential.”
Activities range from events that inspire and inform young minds and competitions that help founders sharpen their skills to roundtable discussions that advance research and policy in the field. Highlights of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 include:
•Startup Open: A global competition for startups that have launched since GEW 2014. Startup Open recognizes 50 of the most promising ventures from around the world with the grand prize winner receiving an all-expenses paid trip to Medellin, Colombia for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2016.
•Startup Nations Summit: Built to facilitate the exchange of ideas among startup-savvy policy advisors and startup community leaders, the Startup Nations Summit in Monterrey, Mexico serves as the finale of Global Entrepreneurship Week on Nov. 22.
•Global Entrepreneurship Index: The 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index will be released during GEW, offering a detailed look at the entrepreneurial ecosystem of 132 countries by combining individual data such as opportunity recognition and risk perception with institutional components like the depth of capital markets, globalization and spending on research and development. The report will provide a backdrop for policy-driven discussions at GEW related events around the world.
With GEW growing each year, efforts have expanded beyond the one week each November. Following U.S. President Barack Obama and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on stage at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Ortmans also announced the creation of GEN Kenya, a new operation to better connect and leverage all efforts in the country to increase new firm formation. Then operation will be run by John Wali, who has led the country’s Global Entrepreneurship Week campaign since it launched. GEN Kenya board members include: Ken Mbwaya, entrepreneur and investor; Duncan Onyango, director of Acumen East Africa; David Kitusa, senior portfolio manager for Kiva; and Salima Kiriago, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development at Kenyatta University.